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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Maintaining the Google Drive Beast

 


The tests are over, the text books are checked back in, and the projects and assignments are almost all completed. While you sift through the remaining tasks for the school year, you may want to begin maintenance on that Google DRIVE Beast! No one ever said cleaning it out was going to be fun. BUT, it will be a great way to begin the next school year organized and ready to go. (You will thank us later!)

Where to even start? Here are a few ways to make this process a tiny bit less painful:

1️⃣ Open Drive and tackle 'orphaned' files first. Try organizing 10-15 of these files at a time so that the process does not overwhelm you. Give each file a home within a folder or if needed, create a new folder for that topic. In addition, delete all of the empty Untitled documents that never got put in the trash!

We love the quick tip of starting a file with docs.new, slides.new, sheets.new, etc., but this often leads to lots of 'orphaned' files. Try to be deliberate in starting a file where it belongs OR moving a file after its creation by using File > Move to.


2️⃣ Now that every file has a folder, it's time to think about your organization structure. Think about the way you teach? Do you organize by unit? By grading period? By Topic? Using this same thought process will probably serve you well with folder organization. We recommend top-level folders that work for you to quickly and easily locate what you need during the school year. Too many top-level folders and you will spend all of your time searching. Too few and you will always be clicking deep into resources. Only you can figure out what works best for your style.

Consider numbering your folders or adding an emoji at the beginning of a folder name so that ones you use most often rise to the top. You can also color code folders for quick visual recognition. Specific colors may have particular meaning to your resources. 


3️⃣ Add a description to your folders. What? I had never heard of this. Adding a description to your folders will help you (and teammates in Shared Drives) remember what is stored there. 

This can be a great help when searching!

  

4️⃣ Are you using Shared Drives? If not, your team should be! As you look through your files, do you see things you are always sharing with your team? Consider creating a Shared Drive for your team and hosting documents that are reused year after year. Everyone will always have access AND you won't have to worry if a teammate resigns.



5️⃣ Need to easily remove duplicate files? There's an app for that! Try Google Drive Cleaner as an easy way to locate, verify and delete duplicate files in your Drive. More help on Google Drive Cleaner here.


⭐️ Pro Tip:
Don't spend time organizing the SHARED WITH ME folder. This is only a list of files that have been shared with you. If you need to save an item to your My Drive, you can Make a copy or Add shortcut to Drive from the File menu.


⚠️ Word of Caution: 
Leave special folders alone, folders such as Classroom, Screencastify, and other resources that save directly to Google Drive. These won't respond well to being moved. You can ADD folders inside of these to assist with organization or consolidation of older files.



🧹 Now, I need to go take some of my own advice and clean out my Drive!

πŸ—‚ Have you always wanted to understand Drive better? Try Google's course on Drive here.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Google Classroom: Your House Elf is Free... So Time to Clean Up




If your house elf has been freed, and you have been putting off cleaning up your Google Classroom for the year, now is the time to finally sit down and do some late spring cleaning. Once the year has concluded and you do not want your students interacting with your Google Classrooms, you will need to take these steps.

Go to classroom.google.com or simply click on the apps launcher at the top right of a Google browser and select Google Classroom.


Once you are in Google Classroom Dashboard, find the classes you want to remove student access from. On the top right of each Class Card click the three vertical dots and choose “Archive”. A dialog box will pop up verifying you want to archive the class, click “Archive”. You will need to repeat this process for each class that is concluded for the 2021-2022 school year.


Don’t worry! You will not lose all of the hard work you have put into your Google Classes this year. You can still make a copy of the course and put it into a new course in the fall!
 

That was quick and painless! You now have time to mourn the loss of your house elf or celebrate their freedom! Enjoy your summer!




Thursday, May 5, 2022

Seesaw...the End-of-Year Ups & Downs

 

It's May and almost time to wrap up the 21-22 school year. So, what do we do about that amazing Seesaw class? Glad you asked, here are a few tips.

1️⃣. Using a rostered Seesaw class? 

πŸ‘Yes, no need to do anything! This will be done for you

πŸ‘ŽNo, be sure to ARCHIVE your current class at the end of the year. Go to the Class Settings (wrench) > Archive Class

 

2️⃣.  Need access to Student Portfolios?

πŸ‘©‍🏫 Teacher: click on profile icon (top-left) and choose SCHOOLWIDE PORTFOLIOS 

 

πŸ‘¦ Student: click on profile icon (top-left) and choose PAST WORK

πŸ‘©‍πŸ‘§ Parent: open FAMILY app, click on profile icon (top-left), choose Account Settings and then JOURNAL ARCHIVES

Seesaw Family Help Here 

*Note if you are using a teacher created class, families have 60 days from the date of archive to download a student's journal. Seesaw WILL notify families of this date and how to complete this action. 

3️⃣. 2022-2023 Rostering?

πŸ‘ YES! The Technology Department will roster Seesaw at the beginning of the school year. We recommend that you use THIS class. You are able to rename the class to a 'student-friendly' name.


🏫 In addition, we CAN roster more than your Homeroom class, just request with a Tech Ticket! 

πŸ‘¨‍πŸ‘©‍πŸ‘§‍πŸ‘¦ If a student's previous teacher used a rostered class, FAMILIES will automatically be connected! 

Seesaw End-of-Year Teacher Help 

 

 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Back It Up Before You Go-Go!

 

Back it up before you go, go! Don’t be sorry in the fall like a Yo-Yo. Don’t plan on going solo! We’ve got you covered! 


Are you winding down your school year? Grading those last assignments, cleaning out your classrooms from the piles of papers that have accumulated all year and making summer plans.


You have just one more thing you need to do before you can wipe your hands clean of this year: prepare Canvas! You do NOT want to lose all of the blood, sweat, and tears you have poured into developing the best Canvas course ever!! 


Many districts have Canvas courses set to conclude at the end of the school year. If you are in Keller, they are still there, so you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing your course is still there in the fall to copy. It will just be under Courses -- Past Enrollments.  However, some people still like to make sure their content is safe, so they export their course or copy it to a Sandbox course.



A Sandbox course is a manually created course you house in your dashboard without students. It is a great place to try new things and save all of the content you love to store when you’re not ready to push it to your courses. If you have never created a Sandbox course, on the right side of your dashboard, there is the option to “Start a New Course”.  Name it “Sandbox:” followed by the content area if you teach multiple courses. For example “Sandbox: English 4”, “Sandbox: English 3”, etc. 


Now you have a Sandbox course to copy your content into for safe keeping. To copy your content you will need to go to the course you would like to copy. Click on “Settings” and on the right side “Copy this Course”. 


It will ask you which course you would like to copy from and to. Then make sure to click “All Content”, Adjust events and due dates” and adjust dates to fit your needs. Then finally, “Create Course”. 



Now when you are bored this summer and your brain is rested and ready to start spinning ideas for the next school year, you can work in your Sandbox. When your classes are populated for the new year with students, simply copy over your Sandbox course to the populated course with students! 


Viola! You are ahead of the rest with a completely ready course! Well maybe with a few tweaks, but mostly done! Take another sigh of relief, sit back, and let Canvas do the hard work for you! 


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Pump Up the Jamboard in your Classroom!


Jamboard, it's old news right? Kind of.... we've blogged about it before here. It became a fast favorite during our remote learning days, but it might be time to take another look.

Teachers are so creative and since Jamboard's earlier days, you would not believe what educational Jamboard resources have been created BY teachers FOR teachers to keep students learning. And best of all, what I am going to show you today is πŸ†“!!

Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) has spent time curating more than 1,200 Jamboard templates for all grade levels and subject areas and provided a link for teachers to use. Note: the link will ask you to make a copy of the document to protect the integrity of the file.

Here are a few samples of what you will find:

1️⃣. A curation of 17 Exit Tickets to use with your class!



2️⃣. A magnetic letter board - no more letters falling on the floor!

3️⃣. A collection of imaginative drawing and writing boards

4️⃣. Games, games & more games!!

5️⃣. Science Diagrams

6️⃣.  Math functions and so, so much more!

🀩 You get the idea - these are amazing. I could go on and on with examples. Find all of the Jamboard templates curated by topic on this document here: http://ly.tcea.org/JamboardFreebies

➡️ Thank you to this TCEA blog post which introduced me to this πŸ†“ Jamboard collection. By the way, the TCEA Blog is a great educational technology resource. Sign up to receive email notifications about new posts on any page of the blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Adventure Awaits: Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants

 



Experience the world from your classroom. Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants is a not for profit organization that brings the mysteries of the world to classrooms using explorers and scientists who are boots on the ground. These virtual field trips via the streaming platform StreamYard bring adventure and experts virtually to classrooms from around the world! 


Spend a day with polar bears or explore a cave with bats! Break free from classroom walls and experience the excitement while you explore the world and beyond. Each month, Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants hosts many virtual field trips and speakers as they explore over 95 countries. Many of their events span over time and cover themes such as “conservation, biodiversity, women in science, space exploration, ocean plastics, engineering, climate change, ecosystems, technology and much more.” (April, 2022) Watch live or tune into their YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/channel/UCvQkEzcH9f_9OylEdmALiWg  when they can make the most impact  with your lessons! 


photo from Explore by the Seat of Your Pants (2022)


Field trips and events are about 45 minutes long. They include a lesson from the specialist plus fun Q&A as well as an interactive Kahoot! Plan ahead with their weekly and monthly schedule. You can also sign up for your class to be live with the explorer or scientist!! Engage students and get them excited about science, technology and STEM careers! Open their eyes to limitless possibilities and futures!


photo from Explore by the Seat of Your Pants Instagram (2022)


Sign up for newsletters, follow them on social media, and get the latest updates on upcoming events!

 

Website

www.exploringbytheseat.com


YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvQkEzcH9f_9OylEdmALiWg


Instagram & Twitter & Facebook @ebtsoyp


Where in the world will you go next? Adventure awaits! 


Thursday, April 7, 2022

Let's Go LIVE with Edpuzzle

If Edpuzzle is in your teacher edtech wheelhouse, this post is for you. There is a feature called Edpuzzle Live Mode that was new to me. However, come to find out it's been around a few years... (throw a worldwide pandemic in those years, somehow I missed it!). 

Edpuzzle is a video integration tool that is amazing - see this blog post for our original article on using Edpuzzle in the classroom. However, before you read further, it's important to note that this live feature is also available in Nearpod (Front of Class Mode), and our district has a premium subscription. So.... if you use Edpuzzle and have content that you love created there, you may find Edpuzzle Live Mode as a beneficial edtech tool! If you use Nearpod, stick with that!

🀷‍♀️ So, what in the world is LIVE MODE?

Edpuzzle Live Mode allows you to use an already created Edpuzzle VIDEO as a WHOLE CLASS ACTIVITY & allows for the QUESTION STOPS to be completed INDIVIDUALLY on students' devices. 

Here is how it works:
🧩 Teacher starts Edpuzzle assignment in LIVE MODE. 


🧩 Students JOIN & VIEW the video on the classroom presentation screen.
Teacher begins lesson. 
Student's screen directs them to the projector. 


🧩 At QUESTION STOPS, students respond to the built in formative assessment checks.
Students see questions individually at stops.

🧩 Teacher has immediate DATA about student progress and can review or reteach for just in time learning.


🧩 Note that Live Mode integrates into your LMS!


🧩 One other neat feature: Teachers can stop Live Mode in class and students can continue independently or as a homework assignment.



⭐️ Edpuzzle Live Mode


⭐️ Ways to Use Edpuzzle Live Mode


πŸ†“ We recommend the free version of Edpuzzle, which allows for 20 video lessons and unlimited access to contributed content. 
🐼 Note that in our original post, we did not highlight the Edpuzzle / Canvas integration which is absolutely amazing. Reach out to us at edtech@kellerisd.net if you need assistance with this.